Introduction to Recording Acoustic Guitar

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In this section, we'll focus on mic choices and basic mic placement for recording the acoustic guitar. These mics in these positions have been proven on countless sessions around the world, so they're a great starting place for anyone tracking the acoustic guitar. A good ribbon mic (or a pair of ribbons for recording in stereo), properly placed, will give you extremely natural sounding acoustic guitar recordings. You can easily capture all the warmth, size and detail you want for full, lush sounding tracks, or thin the tone out for more percussive or sparkly sounding tracks. All of the Royer ribbons perform well on acoustic guitars, although we recommend different positions for R-series and SF-series mics. Due to the gain requirements of acoustic instruments, we usually recommend that you use our more sensitive Active Series powered ribbons (unless you've got a slammin' mic pre with lots of gain). All of the R-series mics will give good results on acoustic guitar, but for this writing, we'll refer to the R-122 phantom powered ribbon. Ribbons handle EQ very well! Acoustic guitars can be shaped beautifully with a little bit (or a lot) of eq'ing. The complexity of the track you're recording, how many other instruments and vocal tracks your acoustic guitar will be sharing space with, the overall sound you're looking for, etc., will determine the amount of equalizing you'll want to do. Generally, it's good practice to roll off some low end at about 100 Hz. Boosting at 10-12 kHz adds a nice sparkle, as well as helps the guitar cut through a dense mix. Don't be afraid to boost as much as 8 or 9 dB of high end to achieve a more condenser-like response if you need it. Even with such drastic EQ, Royers will retain their smooth high end. The closer to the guitar you place the microphone the warmer the sound will be, so if you find that your track is overly warm or boomy, back the mic off an inch or two at a time until you achieve the balance of warmth and top-end you're looking for. It's important to note that ribbon microphones tend to sound better when placed a little further back from where you would normally place condenser mics. These are a few good starting points. Experimentation is always the key to your own unique sounds! The acoustic guitar is a beautiful instrument and ribbons will help you bring out the best in it.

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